Grand Jury Returns Indictments
MADISON, WIS. – A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Marathon County Teacher Charged with Attempting to Produce Child Pornography
Travis. C. Greil, 38, Wausau, Wisconsin, is charged with six counts of attempting to use a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. The indictment alleges that between August 2015 and February 2020, he attempted to use six minors to produce child pornography using an iPad. During this time, Greil was employed as a teacher at D.C. Everest High School.
Greil is in custody in Marathon County following the filing of a complaint charging him with related state offenses. The date for his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin has not been set.
If convicted, Greil faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison on each count. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Everest Metro and Wausau Police Departments, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office, with the cooperation of the D.C. Everest Area School District. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.
This indictment has been brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Wisconsin Rapids Woman Charged with Stealing Mail, Wire Fraud & Identity Theft
Shelby Bottensek, 42, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, is charged with conspiring to steal mail, stealing mail, wire fraud, identity theft, and possessing a forged check. The indictment alleges that Bottensek conspired with others known and unknown to the grand jury to steal mail from mailboxes, use credit cards found in the stolen mail, and use the identity of another person in the commission of a felony.
The indictment alleges that Bottensek and others conspired to steal over 350 pieces of mail addressed to over 170 individuals and entities from mailboxes in Amherst, Wisconsin Rapids, Waupaca, Port Edwards, Nekoosa, Necedah, Plover, Portage, Wausau, Friendship, Janesville, Westfield, and Town of Saratoga, Wisconsin from August through October 2019. The indictment alleges that Bottensek and others would transport the stolen mail to Bottensek’s residence in Wisconsin Rapids, open the mail, and remove anything of value, including cash, uncashed checks, and credit cards.
The indictment also charges Bottensek with stealing and attempting to steal mail from two authorized depositories for mail in Wisconsin Rapids on January 19, 2020.
The indictment further charges Bottensek with four counts of wire fraud for allegedly using credit cards found in the stolen mail to put money in jail commissary accounts of an inmate in the Walworth County jail and an inmate in the Wood County jail, and to make online purchases and purchases at businesses in Portage and Wood Counties. The indictment also charges her with four counts of using the identification of another person during the alleged wire fraud violations.
The eleventh count of the indictment charges Bottensek with possessing and uttering a forged security by using two corporate checks that had been stolen from the mail and contained forged signatures on the payor signature line to pay for items purchased at a business in Beloit, Wisconsin.
If convicted, Bottensek faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge, five years on the stealing mail charge, 20 years on each of the wire fraud charges, and 10 years in prison on the possession of a forged security charge. Each of the identity theft charges carries a mandatory minimum penalty of two years, which would be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the wire fraud charges.
The charges against Bottensek are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Wood County Sheriff’s Department, and Plover and Grand Rapids Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber is handling the prosecution.
Sun Prairie Man Charged with Armed Robbery
Mekhi Moss, 19, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, is charged with the robbery of a business in Sun Prairie and with brandishing a firearm during the robbery. The indictment alleges that on January 21, 2020, Moss robbed the Stop-N-Go on Tower Drive in Sun Prairie, and that he brandished a firearm during this crime of violence.
If convicted, Moss faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the robbery charge, and a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years on the brandishing a firearm charge. Federal law requires that any penalty imposed on the brandishing a firearm charge be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the robbery charge. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Sun Prairie Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey C. Stephan is handling the prosecution.
Chicago Man Charged with Robbery of Madison Business
Bernard Thomas, 28, Chicago, Illinois, is charged with robbing a Madison, Wisconsin business. The indictment alleges that on December 28, 2019, Thomas and five accomplices robbed Rocky’s Liquor on the West Beltline Highway in Madison.
The indictment alleges that one of Thomas’s accomplices brandished a weapon at an employee and demanded money while Thomas and the four other accomplices stole cases of liquor.
If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Madison, Town of Madison, and Fitchburg Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow is handling the prosecution.
Monticello Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Ammunition
Justin Wenger, 37, Monticello, Wisconsin, is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition. The indictment alleges that he possessed .223 caliber ammunition on January 16, 2020.
If convicted, Wenger faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Monroe and Monticello Police Departments, Green County Sheriff’s Office, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey C. Stephan is handling the prosecution.
The indictments charging Moss, Thomas, and Wenger have been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition, and violent crimes and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.
Crawford County Man Charged with Methamphetamine Crime
Travis Johnson, 31, Gays Mills, Wisconsin, is charged with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The indictment alleges that he possessed the methamphetamine on November 10, 2019.
If convicted, Johnson faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chadwick M. Elgersma is handling the prosecution.